Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Connectivism and Social learning in Practice

Huranan Byrd blog 5 

                                                                             Connectivism and Social Learning in Practice

Have you ever met many someone who struggle with socially interacting with their peers, friends, co-workers etc?  Social learning is important because people learn new behaviors through observation.  Furthermore in my experience with social learning, students have learned how to interact with other students though past learned behaviors.  For example I work with students that are emotionally disturbed and one of my students tends to use a lot of profanity when he is talking to his peers.  This behavior had to be learned while interacting with his friends when he was young or he may have learned that behavior through living in community or home.  Basically the students culture or background can play a role in how a student may act or interact with his peers, co -workers etc.

In this week course resources we learned about social constructivism theory and how it suggests that student knowledge is constructed first in a social context and that social context is shared with other individuals.  When students began to collaborate with each other the results in learning is constructing or building understanding through social learning.

The instructional strategy for this week is cooperative learning.  Cooperative learning focus on having students interact with each other in groups thus enhances their learning.   Cooperative learning, “provides an environment where students can reflect upon newly acquired knowledge, process what they are learning by talking with and actively listening to their peers and develop common understanding about topics” (Pitler, Hubbell, and Kuhn, 2012, p13).
Partnering up also helps the weaker students because they are then given extra support from their classmates. The strong students would be considered the more knowledgeable other that Dr. Orey describes when discussing the zone of proximal development and how students leaner the most when they have that person in the classroom who may be the most knowledgeable such as a teacher” (Laureate Education Inc., 2011).

Last, I really like the idea of using social learning in the classroom to get students to learn.  First students are given the opportunity to share their opinions or point of view with other students in a collaborative environment.  Next, with the technology advancements students can now use social networks such as the one discussed in the resources to develop social learning.

Hiraman Byrd VT address:


Laureate Education, Inc. (Producer). (2011). Program eight: Social learning theories

Video webcast]. Bridging learning theory, instruction and technology. Retrieved from

Pitler, Howard, Elizabeth R. Hubbell, and Matt, Kuhn.  (2012).  Using Technology with Classroom Instruction that Works.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Constructionism in Practice

     The new challenge in the classroom is develop lesson plans that the students can become self sufficient and the teachers can become more facilitators.  Many teacher try to use constructionism in their classroom to make there students build their own artifacts that can be shared with others. 

     What is the difference between constructivism and constructionism?  According to Dr. Orey “constructivism is theory of knowledge stating that each individual activity constructs his or her own meeting.  Constructionism is a theory of learning that states people learn best when they build an external artifact or something they can share with others.  An example would be firsthand experience or getting involved with building stuff.”  (Laureate, 2013).  Teachers today tend to use constructionism more because it allows students or encourages them to create material.   In the video from today’s reading it discussed the use of PowerPoint as a good example for constructionism.  Power Point is a good tool provided by Microsoft that allows students to get on easy and navigate through the different options to create an image of their learning.  In my classroom we also use power point for two reasons one I understand that the students I deal with are emotional disturbed and can navigate the software easy and also the students still see this as a challenge to create something different each time the software is being used.  In chapter 9 of our book Using Technology with Classroom Instruction that Works the author tells us that students who generate and test hypothesis by engaging in problem solving have a clearer understanding of lesson concepts" (Pitler, Hubbell and Kuhn, 2012).  Problem solving also allows students to critically think about problems when given to them to solve.  

     Technology has allowed students to become more independent on mechanism of learning (assimilation, accommodations, equilibrations, and scheme) to the point where teachers are now taking a step back and becoming facilitators.  In constructionism teaching strategies such as project-based, problem-based, and inquiry-based learning theory are all used to allow the student an opportunity to build his cognitive mind though research, critical thinking.  In constructionism teachers tend to find their roles change from instructor or educator to a facilitator or mediator with the development of student independent learning or self -sufficient learning. Other technology tools I use in my classroom include Microsoft word, excel, power point and graphing help students receive the best education possible.

It is important to remember that when student  are constructing they try to authenticate the material.  In my classroom I provide a rubric that will help them understand what we are looking for it is up to the students and the technology being used to create a finished material.

Laureate Education, Inc. (Producer). (2011). Program seven: Constructionist and constructivist learning theories [Video webcast].Bridging learning theory, instruction and technology. Retrieved from

Pitler, H., Hubbell, E., & Kuhn, M. (2012). Using Technology with Classroom Instruction that Works. (2nd ed).

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Cognitivism in Practice

Hiraman Byrd 
Blog 2

Every year students go away for the summer and come back to school and information is lossed over the summer.  Teachers are faced with the challenge of reviewing past lesson prior to incorporating new lessons for the current year.  Teachers use cognitive tools which “allow students to interact with information in order to acquire, synthesize, create, and share new knowledge” (Orey, 2001, p.5).  In our Laureate video Dr. Orey talks about the three types of memory.  He also talks about amount of information our short term memory allows us to use for example (7+/-2 pieces of information at one time).  If teachers know that student can only remember so much pieces of information then it mandatory that teachers provide students with information that will become long term information.

We were also asked to develop a concept map.  Concept mapping allows students to organize information by making connections, and thereby storing the information in their long-term memory.  Using concept maps also includes the dual coding hypothesis, which states people can remember pictures, smells, that can be stored as text (Laureate Education Inc., 2011).  Elaboration was also discussed as a active process where the learner is engaged in. Elaboration involves getting to the information in your mind or ability to make connection to remember the information.When using a concept map students not limited to inputting text, but they can also put in links to pictures, articles, etc.
Cues, Question, and Advance,  Organizers
In our classroom our student use calculators as technology to see images in 3D such as graphs and mathematical problems.  When students are making visuals then they began to develop critical thinking which is good when students are making connection to problems.   Also when information is remember through visuals then information can be organized quickly thus it will help students remember information quickly.    Another good way to organize information is through note taking.  Our student are asked to take notes so that when information needs to be access then it can be access through the short term memory and after reading your paper over and over the information will be accessed in the long term memory.

Pitler, Hubbell, and Kuhn (2012) say that by “using cues, questions, and advance organizers at the beginning of a lesson or unit focuses learning on the important content to come” and can motivate and “tap into [the students’] curiosity and interest” (p. 91).  When students ask question then critical thinking is being accessed which is part of a learners short and long term memory.  Also when learner are given cues to answer question they have to think fast this means that the information is stored in their long term memory and it can be used again once a cue is used to get the answer.  


Laureate Education, Inc. (Producer). (2011). Program five: Cognitive learning theory [Video webcast]. Bridging learning theory, instruction and technology. Retrieved from
Orey, M. (Ed.). (2001). Emerging perspectives on learning, teaching, and technology. Cognitive tools. Retrieved from

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Behaviorism in Practice

By Hiraman Byrd

     Behaviorism offers a particular perspective on how learning occurs and how teachings impacts that process.  Learning is "a persisting change in performance or performance potential that results from experience and interaction with the world" (Driscoll, 2000, p'3).
     This week we were asked to analysis the instructional strategies described in this week resources.  Pat Wolf broke down her view of behaviorist learning by looking a the brain.  She explained how their are 4 parts of the brain that are the most used by humans example is optical, temple, tubes, etc.  In order for our students to understand the information being given in the classroom it is up to the teachers to provide the students with information in different ways.  In my classroom we use the Smart board to help students see information in a different way, we also use the interactive whiteboard, and laptops to help students find the most accurate or up to date information.  Dr. Pat Wolfe also talked about finding meaningful patterns that will help students make the connection to the lesson being taught. Dr. Pat also talked about learning being meaningful to students so that the student can make a connection to a idea and if something is not meaningful then it will be forgotten by that individual.   
     As a teacher in a classroom I try to use good old repetition to help my students memorize information or theory's in my classroom.  I also try to plan effective lesson plans for that particular classroom.  One of the thing that allows me to do that is by learning your students.  Furthermore I feel if teachers understand their students then, teachers can provide innovative material to give students a extra motivation to learn.  If my second grade teacher was alive she would also like to use a hands on approach to learning new material because she feels this style keeps the students involve in the lesson.

     The most important lesson in behavior learning theory is the student must be willing to receive the information being taught by the teacher.  Students have final say in how they will receive the information, and how they will use the information when it is necessary.


Lever-Duffy, J. & McDonald, J. (2008). Theoretical foundations (Laureate Education, Inc., custom ed.)       
      Boston, MA: Pearson Education, Inc. Chapter 1: Theoretical Foundations
Laureate Education, Inc. (Producer). (2011). Program one: Understanding the brain [Video webcast]. Bridging learning theory, instruction and technology. Retrieved from
Laureate Education, Inc. (Producer). (2011). Program two: Brain research and learning [Video webcast]. Bridging learning theory, instruction and technology. Retrieved from

Wayne State University.  (2002).  The Office for Teaching and Learning Newsletter.  
     December 2002, Volume 7, No. 2